Northern Irish finalists revealed in search for Britain’s best small businesses

Taking place at Belfast’s Grand Opera House on Wednesday 21 September, the free to attend event is part of The Pitch 2011, organised by BusinessZone.co.uk in association with print and digital services company Yell.
Five small business owners will pitch in front of judges: serial entrepreneur Karen Darby; star of Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire Carl Hopkins and Will McKee, one of Ireland’s most experienced board directors.
The winner will make it through to the central London final on 18 November and compete against entrepreneurs from England, Wales and Scotland at the legendary Pacha nightclub to win £50,000 worth of business support including a year’s free mentoring from Karen Darby.
The Northern Irish finalists are:
Anthony Kieran, Media Lightbox (an online file storage and management for businesses)
Conor James Moran, Mobile Report (a web and mobile application used to generate reports for field based operatives)
Barbara Hughes, Boozeberries Limited  (a premium artisan berry liqueur naturally enhanced with the infusion of wild fragrant berries) 
Maria McGee, Marble Hill (natural skin care solutions for everyday skin problems) 
Jason Paul, Floe (a device that downdrains and remove stagnant water from houses, holiday homes, caravans and motorhomes)
Dan Martin, founder of The Pitch and editor of BusinessZone.co.uk, says: “Since June, we’ve been on the road tracking down Britain’s finest small businesses. We’ve selected our winners in England, Wales and Scotland; now it’s time for Northern Irish entrepreneurs to shine.
“The list of finalists for our event in Belfast on 21 September is hugely varied and shows the creativity and entrepreneurship that Northern Ireland enjoys. We look forward to finding out what our team of expert judges think of the country’s top five small businesses.” 
As well as watching the pitches live on stage, audience members will receive practical tips for business success from speakers including entrepreneur, millionaire and triathlete Lara Morgan. As well as starting hotel toiletries business Pacific Direct which she sold for £20m, Morgan recently published best-selling business book, ‘More Balls Than Most’ and is a co-founder of Start Up Britain.  
Attendees will also take part in an interactive Q&A session with an expert panel, which will include David Malone, divisional telesales manager at Yell; Ron Immink, co-founder of Irish online business community Small Business Can and Adam Ewart, founder of Northern Irish small businesses Karacha and sendmybag.com.
The keynote speech will be delivered by Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest Northern Ireland. 
Free tickets to the event are available at http://www.thepitch2011.com/national-heats/ni. 
Business Matters is a supporter of The Pitch 2011
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